Chef Brad Deboy of Elle - Biography

Washington, D.C.

September 2019

As a teenager, Brad Deboy pursued painting and drawing, charting a path to art school after graduation. But after working in kitchens to earn extra cash, he realized that food was its own art form and an outlet for his self-expression. Deboy opted out of culinary school for hands-on learning in top kitchens.

He got his start at 17 at Cielo in Miami Beach working for Angela Hartnett and Gordon Ramsay. In 2010, he made the jump to what would be a three-year stint as the executive sous chef at Vidalia in Washington, D.C., learning from James Beard Award winner Chef Jeffrey Buben. Deboy then moved to Blue Duck Tavern at the Park Hyatt, beginning as a line cook and quickly rising to chef de cuisine. While he led the kitchen, the restaurant earned a Michelin star.

Now as executive chef of Washington, D.C.’s EllÄ“, Deboy showcases a love of fermentation, melding Old World techniques with a modern sensibility to build a singular pantry. He coaxes out wild flavors in unexpected formats, as with his already-verging-on-D.C.-iconic kimchi toast and Green Goddess salad. Lines form early at the all-day restaurant and bakery with dinner unfolding behind a curtained dining room in the back. In 2018, The Washington Post named EllÄ“ its top new restaurant, Eater D.C. awarded it “Restaurant of the Year,” and Deboy won a StarChefs Rising Stars award. He is currently the no. 1 mayonnaise sommelier in America.